Cancer Sensitive Schools Project
Posted on 5 Aug 2010 by:Ankara Foundation of Children with Leukemia [NGO]
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The highest increase of cancer cases are seen at newly developing and industrializing countries. With its booming economy and rising youth population Turkey takes place among such countries. 43 % of the cancer deaths are grown out of tobacco use, nutrition and infection. As an annual mean average 150.000 new cancer cases occur in Turkey. If the action is not taken, 5 millions of people in Turkey will be ill with cancer in the following 20 years and 3.5 millions of them will loose their life. In the other hand unfortunately there are not protective action plans and effective youth policies about the cancer prevention for the youngsters in Turkey.
As we know cancer is a preventable disease and dragging youngsters into an unhealthy life because of our negligence┐s definitely will mean that we are ignoring our future. We need to make young people conscious of their health and to promote them healthy lifestyles. The role of the schools while doing this is of basic importance. Schools should have a sensitive character and take an action to save young lives.
We believe that Cancer is an obstacle for sustainable development. The short term objective of the Project is to form the regulations of these ┐Healthy Lifestyle Clubs.┐ The long term objective of the Project is to transform it into a national and international Project where schools adopt a habit to take the measures to avoid cancer with the hope that more schools implement the model. The ultimate goal of the Project is to develop a sustainable model for schools where teenagers adopt a healthy lifestyle so that cancer incidences decrease.
Techniques and strategies used
The aim of this pilot project is to form ┐Healthy Lifestyle Clubs┐ in schools with the leadership of LOSEV in order to make teenagers who are future leaders, parents, scientists and artists aware of cancer diseases and the necessary preventions to avoid the disease.
The main activities of the Project are workshops, round table meetings, seminars and the panel in which teenagers are working actively for their future.
What is innovative about this approach/tool/project?
Making yougsters adopt a healthy lifestyle the strategy of this project is to create a healthy education environment (life environment) for them instead of struggling the negative effects of the cancer during and after their treatments.Thus the approach is innovative in a way that it is preventive and protective.
The project offers a model to be implemented in all the high schools targeting youngsters with their school environment as a whole. Therefore not only youngsters but their parents, teachers and school principles are also included and effected. The model is based on a holistic approach and has a strong impact on the growing potential of project.
Current political agenda shows that youth health is seen solely as a health issue. But in order to guarantee healthy life/future it is clear that the youth health policy should be also engaged with the education policy directly. The mesurements towards youth health should have a holistic "well-being" approach. As schools (peers, teachers, parents and principles) are seen as the main tools to health promotion towards youth the project offers a new strategy which combines health and education sectors for health promotion.
Evidence of results and impact
The most important output after the piloting implementation of the project is a "Healthy Lifestile Club Regulation" which was developed by teachers, parents, principles and students contributions via workshops, round table meetings and simmilar project activities. Thanks to this important tool that the model can be widen country wise and the youth policy can be attrackted to the cancer protection.
The evidence of the project's success is the second phase of the project which is targeting all high schools in Turkey in 81 provinces with the partnership of Ministry of National Education. The impact of the project in the mid term will be more as the education policy will consider the importance of the youth health and health standards of public schools will be improved this way.
Costs associated with project development and/or implementation
The Project has been run through all the partner's own contributions.